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Letter: Unions are our last voice

Posted: September 22, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 22, 2012 2:00 a.m.

In response to “Props. 31, 32 will benefit all residents,” Sept. 16:

I strongly disagree with your support of Prop 32, which is a sneaky, dishonest proposition sponsored up by the big money corporations to put the final nail in unions’ coffin.

It misleads the voter into believing that “corporations will have to restrain from using employees’ money for political activity.” Guess what?! Corporations don’t — and never have — used employees’ money for political purposes. They use a portion of their profits to buy our politicians (local, state and national). Every time you purchase something, say a gallon of gas or any consumer item, a portion of what you pay will go into their lobbying efforts — often for policies and laws that you are against.

You have no say that Chevron, BP, Exxon lobbies for legislation that is harmful to the environment or that McDonald’s lobbies against making nutritional information available, or that Big Pharma can gouge the public, etc. Very often, they are using the money you spent for their product to work against your best interests.

Unions are the only voice left that represent the people’s voice against Big Money. Unions are not perfect, but think of a world where there is no champion with deep pockets that will speak up for us.  (“Deep pockets” is a relative term, since corporations outspent unions 20 to 1 before Citizens United.)  

Now, corporate money has no limits. Unions’ political voice is limited by the  number of members. If people in unions don’t like how their political money is spent, then they need to get active in union politics and shape a policy more to their liking.

Most union members are glad they have the unions covering their backs regarding hours, working conditions, health, environment, safety, civil rights, etc. Those who don’t can always opt out.

This is an evil proposition that, if passed, leaves the workers — union and non-union — totally at the mercy of their corporate overlords — the fabled 1 percent.

Goodbye, fair labor standards. Hello, sweat shops!


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